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Brea Bowers Puts Progress Over Perfection to Reach Her Goals

At 27, Brea Bowers already has an impressive list of career achievements and community contributions on her resume.
However, when it comes to discussing them, the accomplished young professional is not one to toot her own horn. Refreshingly, a conversation with Bowers is governed by the overarching characteristics of humility, gratitude and servitude. While business leaders of any age are usually eager to detail their many notable accomplishments, it’s quite the opposite with Bowers. Yes, she’s one to watch, but she also seems happy to simply let her actions speak for themselves.
The registered nurse at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital uses a gentle, reserved tone when she talks about her job, which requires caring for bone marrow transplant patients and, when needed, patients with solid tumors and leukemia, as well as children in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Despite the potentially heartbreaking nature of her work, Bowers said she’s found daily inspiration since she started working at St. Jude in September of 2015.
“The patients there are really strong. Despite what they’re going through, they’re still positive, they’re still smiling. I’ve taken care of some critical patients, and I’ve seen them turn around. It’s very rewarding,” said Bowers, adding that her current position is so far the highlight of her career.
Previously, Bowers spent more than two years working her way up through various nursing positions at Methodist Germantown, including student leadership nurse, extern and – after graduating from University of Memphis in 2014 – a registered nurse specializing in patient care. She also has held internships at University of Tennessee Health Science Center and St. Jude, among others.
Outside work, Bowers is an enthusiastic member of the Greater Memphis Chamber’s SoundCheck initiative, which connects and engages the city’s young professionals with established business leaders.
“Part of our main focus is on the professionals we have coming into the city. We want to inform them about the positive aspects of Memphis,” she said. “I think Memphis is a great place for young professionals to stay and develop their careers. We have great health care industry opportunities, but we also have excellent companies like International Paper, FedEx, AutoZone – there are a lot of wonderful career options here.”
Bower’s long-term career sights are set on positions with more wide reaching effects for both individual patients and the city as a whole. She recently started working towards her Master of Science degree in Nursing Administration at U of M.
“Now that I’m getting my master’s, I definitely want to be focused on policy development and quality improvement,” Bowers said. “I want to eventually take more of a leadership role.”
Part of that leadership role would involve using her voice to make a difference in the quality of life for other Memphians.
“I want to make sure everyone has fair access to health care, because I know at times people here don’t seek treatment because they can’t afford it,” she said. “Also, when I worked with adults at Methodist Germantown, the common diagnoses that I saw were heart failure and kidney failure, so as far as the city goes, I think it’s very important to emphasize healthy living, healthy eating and exercising.”
Her desire to make a citywide impact does not surprise her mentor Jonathan Watkins, former vice president and Chief Operating Officer at Methodist North and now Chief Operating Operator at Kaiser Permanente.
“Brea is definitely an ambitious young lady with a good heart,” Watkins said. “She has what I call a servant heart – one that’s going to bode well for her in the health care industry.”
Bowers and Watkins met through their participation in the Memphis chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE), a nonprofit organization aimed at elevating the quality of health care services in minority and underserved communities. Watkins was impressed with Bowers’ ideas and determination.
“She’s always developing a strategic deployment map for her career – meaning she’s thinking and planning five, 10 years ahead – but she’s one who also takes a delayed-gratification approach in the process,” he said.
Bowers elaborates on this perspective, and it’s a viewpoint she encourages other aspiring young professionals to take.
“When you’re trying to find your way in your career, there will be times when things don’t go exactly at the pace that you want them to go,” she said. “Just keep making progress. That’s what’s important, because no one is perfect. Staying focused on your goal is the key.”
Bowers credits her strong work ethic to her solid upbringing. Her father, Tim Bowers, manager of the Executive Protection Unit at FedEx and founder and pastor of True Fellowship Ministries, echoes these sentiments.
“As a leader, Brea understands the gravity of progress over perfection. Obviously, we want to do the best we can at everything we do, but perfection is not progress,” Tim Bowers said. “Progress gives you an opportunity to continue down the road and do better next time.”
He admits that he’s a bit biased, but he and Bowers’ mother Cynthia have no doubt that Bowers will leave a positive mark on Memphis.
“Brea has a keen sense of bridging the gap between what’s important to her and what’s important to the people around her,” he said. “As a family, we believe in lifting our brothers and sisters up, and we let our actions speak louder than our words. Brea gets that.”

Story by: Erinn Figg
Photo by: Troy Glasgow

Posted: 12/20/2016 1:39:01 PM | with 0 comments
Filed under: Chamber, Council, Greater, Memphis, Professionals, SoundCheck, Spotlight, Young

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